Broken-down Poetry: it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith

O Grace.

I feel like I have a new secret crush or something, and now I'm here to reveal it. Grace! I'm in love!

Okay, so last blog got a lot of responses - a lot, lot, lot, lot - via Facebook, and just one via Wordpress. I've had several urges to comment as well, clarifying what exactly I meant to say or to agree with someone's response, but I decided not to. Instead, I'm going to write this blog.

For over a year now God's been teaching me about Grace. It started in April '08 with Paul's sermon series based off of his favorite book, "What's So Amazing About Grace?" And since then, through books I've been reading, songs I've been listening to, friends I've been chatting to and through the Word of God, I'm finally starting to understand a thing or two about it.


I was talking to Jacque about this at Warren Dunes a few weeks ago, half thinking it was blasphemy.

Grace says that you can be forgiven before you even ask for it -- before you even want to ask for it.

This phrase (and it is true, by the way) kind of woke me up.

See, I've been a Christian since I was about 12 years old, and I kind of always understood the faith thing. I got that you needed to have a relationship with God, that Christianity is more than just a moral code.

But I didn't get Grace.

I thought that Grace was God's way of tolerating me.

I may not be saved through my actions,
but I better pull myself together
or God won't like me much anymore.

I ascribed myself to legalism. I never really got why I loved rules so much and why I loved when people got what they deserved. I thought it was because I was a moral person -- and I know for many of you reading this, you'll nod profusely, recalling a time when I just said no to one thing or another.

But I don't think it was because I'm a moral person. I think it's because I never understood Grace.

Grace says that I'm forgiven before I repent. I'm forgiven before I realize what I am doing.

But I was mistaking Grace with mercy. Mercy, is (and excuse my extremely secular and kind of heretical description here) ... mercy is Grace without balls. It says that I gueeessss I'll forgive you because you asked politely.

Mercy says, "You've gone through enough punishment so I won't add anymore. (But you're not off the hook yet!)"

Mercy says, "You deserve my pity."

Oh, but Grace says to the prodigal son, "Let me throw you a party!"

Grace says, "Whatever you did yesterday, whatever sin you have committed will be forgotten. Come and rest."

There will be more on Grace in blogs to come, I assure you. But for now, like any new secret crush (or, not so secret), I'm going to relish in what I do know about Grace. I'm going to take joy in the fact that I am forgiven. Already. I don't have to do anything to earn God's favor. :-)


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